Local marketing expert looks at restaurant outlook in B/CS

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Local marketers are keeping their eyes on the state of restaurants in Bryan and College Station. Some recent restaurants like Ninfa's closed on Thursday, leaving many people wondering why and if Aggieland is becoming over saturated with restaurants.

"Every time a new restaurant opens a retail opens, it looks like it's being redistributed across the entire ecosystem," said Jason Pulliam, Co-Founder of High Octane Marketing.

He posted his thoughts on why the restaurant closed, studying foot traffic with data from the app FourSquare. He found their foot traffic had dropped.

"There was a decline starting as early as late last year," he said.

Local restaurants say competition keeps growing while profits drop. Plenty of new restaurants are still opening.

"You know it's just always a hard business, said Tap Bentz, who owns Outback Steakhouse in College Station. He has been running local restaurants for two decades and previously served as President of The Texas Restaurant Association.

Bents says there are challenges running a restaurant in a college town. He's not sure why Ninfa's closed.

“I wish I had some secrets, but I really don’t you know," said Bentz.

"I hate to see any restaurant closed because know how much blood, sweat and tears have gone into it," he said.

"You have to kind of learn the cycle of the business and it is different you know. Honestly, it used to be when football season would roll around you would just 'ok now it’s easy'," he said. "But even with everyone tailgating now they that’s not where what it used to be," said Bentz.

"I think it's too early to tell that we're over saturated or not," said Pulliam. "I think that the way of doing business for restaurant and retail is definitely changing and rapidly," he suggested.

“We have a new wealth of data that shows there is great growth opportunities in the community for restaurants and retail to thrive if they are aggressive," Pulliam said.

“With all the growth of residential, we know restaurants will follow rooftops. Restaurants and retail are going to have so many opportunities," he added. "They won’t be able to do business the same way as they are used to doing it. The game is just going to get more and more competitive," said Pulliam.

KBTX has not been able to get a response from Ninfa's on their closure.

Wayback Burger also recently closed their Texas Avenue location.

We have more of Jason Puliam's analysis attached with this story in the related links section.